Bohol, known to be the province with the most number of bishops, now has 18 clergymen who have been elevated to the Catholic Church’s bishopric.
The 18th Boholano bishop is Msgr. Abel Apigo, rector of St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary. He is the new bishop-elect of Mati.
The announcement was made after a Holy Mass celebrated as part of the 8th annual gathering of Friends of REMASE, a group formed to support the studies of seminarians in Mindanao.
The communiqué signed by Apostolic Nuncio Gabriele Caccia, was read by REMASE vice rector, Fr. Reynaldo Retardo.
“It’s really a grace of God to be chosen as the shepherd of the local church of Mati,” said Apigo in an interview with Chronicle.
The new bishop is the son of the late Genaro Apigo of Loay town and Porferia Cahiles Agipo of Lila town.
Apigo will be the second bishop of Mati since the retirement of former Mati Bishop Patricio Alo due to health reasons.
Born in Calinan, Davao City on May 21, 1968, the bishop-elect of Davao was ordained a priest on April 18, 1994. His first assignment was parochial vicar of San Pedro Cathedral in Davao,
He served in various capacities at the Regional Seminary of St. Francis Xavier of Davao: pastoral director (1996-1997), professor (2000-2001), coordinator (2001-2002), vice rector and dean (2002-2006), before becoming its rector in 2006.
Apigo obtained a licentiate in Church history from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, in 2000.
In 2014, Apigo was appointed episcopal vicar for the clergy of the diocese.
The 17 other Boholano bishops are: Most Rev. Manuel M. Mascariñas (deceased) – former Bishop of the Diocese of Tagbilaran; Msgr. Felix Zafra (deceased) – former Bishop of the Diocese of Tagbilaran ; Msgr. Alfredo Bacquial (deceased) – former Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Davao; Most Rev. Jesus B. Tuquib – former Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro; Bishop Miguel Cinchez (deceased) – former Bishop Diocese of Surigao; Archbishop Mariano Garces Gaviola (deceased) – former Bishop of Cabanatuan; Msgr. Juan de Dios Mataflorida Pueblos (deceased) – former Bishop of the Diocese of Butuan; Most Rev. Elenito R. Galido, D.D. (deceased) former Bishop of Iligan; Msgr. Zacarias Cenita Jimenez – Bishop of the Diocese of Pagadian;. Most Rev. Edgardo S. Juanich, D.D. Vicar Apostolic of Taytay;. Msgr. Arturo M. Bastes, SVD – Bishop of the Diocese of Sorsogon; . Msgr. Romulo G. Valles – Archbishop of Zamboanga who is the current president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Phils (CBCP); Msgr. Antonieto Dumagan Cabajog – Bishop of the Diocese of Surigao; Msgr. Crispin B. Varquez – Bishop of the Diocese of Borongan; Archbishop Bernardito Auza – Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations; Most Rev. Alberto S. Uy – Bishop of the Diocese of Tagbilara and Most. Fr. Socrates “Soc” Mesiona, MSP – Bishop of the Diocese of Puerto Princesa.